Achilles Tendonopathy, Tendonitis, Tendonosis is a common problem which presents itself into our practice daily. But what is it? First, there is a difference between tendonitis and tendonosis or tendonopathy. A very simple way to think about it is, often, tendinitis is inflammation of the wrapping of the achilles tendon in a form of a sheath. A tendonosis/tendonopathy is often a chronic degeneration of the tendon.
What does the Achilles Tendon do? Explained in the most simple form, the Achilles Tendon is known as the strongest tendon in the body. It attaches to the calcaneus in a spiral manner coming down from the calf muscles allowing your calf muscles to contract and move your ankle. It sounds simple but there is really a lot that is going on at that level of the foot and leg.
What causes Achilles Tendonopathy problems? The list of causes can often be innumerable. There is a lot that can go wrong and these causes will be assessed by your podiatrist. Often, addressing the causes will aid in the management of the condition. If you do go and see a podiatrist for your pain, make sure you take note of the following risk factors and be sure tell your podiatrist: poor footwear, change in the training schedule and/or intensity level, change in playing surface, tight or weak calf muscles, excessive pronation/supination, chronic ankle instability, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, certain types of arthritis and much much more! The more information we have, the better we can manage the condition.
What can I try at home? Generally, management of Achilles Tendonopathy problems at home can consists of massage of the calf muscles, stretch calf muscles and Achilles Tendon, ice after activity, rest, change of footwear, avoiding flat unsupportive shoes, avoid uphill walking and high intensity activity on the ball of the foot.
Unfortunately, we often see patients seeking quick solutions to the problem which is often not possible. This is the type of injury that takes AFL football players out for a season, stopped George Clooney walking down the red carpet, ended Kobe Bryant’s basketball season, and left Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson skipping leg day at the gym.
A podiatrist can guide your management and certainly get you better. There is a lot of treatments that can be offered in the clinic and lots of ways that treatment can be tailored to you. Eltham Foot Clinic has a diagnostic ultrasound on site so we can see your problem and also track your progress as the tendon heals.
If you find that you have Achilles Tendonopathy has been giving you problems, give us a call on 9431 1138 or click here to book online. There are many ways we can help you get better sooner.